Vagabond (The Grail Quest, Book 2)

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9780006513858: Vagabond (The Grail Quest, Book 2)

The eagerly anticipated follow-up to the bestselling Harlequin, this is the second instalment in Bernard Cornwell's Grail Quest series. In Harlequin, Thomas of Hookton travelled to France as an archer and there discovered a shadowy destiny, which linked him to a family of heretical French lords who sought Christendom's greatest relic. Having survived the battle of Crecy, Thomas is sent back to England, charged with finding the Holy Grail. But Thomas is an archer and when a chance comes to fight against an army invading northern England he jumps at it. Plunged into the carnage of Neville's Cross, he is oblivious to other enemies who want to destroy him. He discovers too late that he is not the only person pursuing the grail, and that his rivals will do anything to thwart him. After hunting and wounding him, Thomas's enemies turn him into a fugitive. Fleeing England, he travels to Normandy, determined to rescue Will Skeat, his old commander from Harlequin. Finally Thomas leads his enemies back to Brittany, where he goes to discover an old love and where his pursuers at last trap their reluctant pilgrim. Vagabond is a vivid and realistic portrait of England at a time when the archer was king of Europe's battlefields.

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Review:

Vagabond, the second entry in Bernard Cornwell's Grail Quest series, has been eagerly anticipated by those who read the first book, and it doesn't disappoint. Thomas has managed to survive the battle of Crécy. Still nursing his wounds, he is dispatched by the king on a mission to look into the matter of his father's inheritance, which is obscurely connected to the Holy Grail. This most precious relic of the Christian faith is a much sought-after object, offering the power of total victory in war to its owner. But Thomas finds himself in the middle of a battle against an army invading the North of England, and other shadowy forces pursuing the grail are prepared to slaughter anyone who stands in their way. In the ruins of his birthplace, Thomas discovers more about his father, and a dangerous voyage to France brings him up against his cousin and arch-enemy, Count of Astarc Guy Vexville. The stage is set for a merciless showdown.

Thomas is a protagonist drawn quite as pithily as his much-loved predecessor, and the sheer verve of Cornwell's storytelling here is irresistible. We are plunged into a distant age: bloody, colourful and dangerous. Roll on, volume three! --Barry Forshaw, Amazon.co.uk

From the Back Cover:

In 1347, a year of conflict and unrest, Thomas of Hookton returns to England to pursue the Holy Grail. Among the flames of the Hundred Years War, a sinister enemy awaits the fabled archer and mercenary soldier: a bloodthirsty Dominican Inquisitor who also seeks Christendom's most holy relic. But neither the horrors of the battlefield nor sadistic torture at the Inquisitor's hands can turn Thomas from his sworn mission. And his thirst for vengeance will never be quenched while the villainous black rider who destroyed everything he loved still lives.

From internationally acclaimed New York Times bestselling author Bernard Cornwell comes the spellbinding second chapter in his Grail Quest—the majestic epic adventure of duty, war, and destiny that began with The Archer's Tale.

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